The Coronavirus Seems to Spare Most Kids From Illness, but Its Effect on Their Mental Health Is Deepening

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Roxane Cohen Silver, professor of psychological science, shares her expertise in a Time Magazine article. An excerpt:

Loneliness in lockdown is common for kids separated from their friends. But all children will not be emotionally rattled by the pandemic equally–or even at all; COVID-19 will affect them to different degrees and in different ways. Roxane Cohen Silver, a social psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, specializes in human responses to mass trauma and has most closely studied the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. and the 2006 and 2010 earthquakes in Indonesia and Chile, respectively. Though nobody in any culture does especially well in a time of such tragedy, Silver has found that the closer individuals are to a crisis–both geographically and personally–the greater the impact. People in New York City and Washington, D.C., had more acute reactions to 9/11 than people more removed from the terrorist strikes. The coronavirus is similarly hitting some people harder than others.

“The impact on a child’s sense of safety depends on the extent to which the family is affected,” Silver says. “If there is a loss or if the family has a drastic change in their economic consequences, this event would shape the children’s view of the world.”

Read the article